ColumnIn the fight against sexism at work, a surprising ally emerges in Megyn Kelly.
As part of a recent panel discussion about childhood literacy, Mississippi Gov. Republican Phil Bryant showed his true colors with this response to the loaded question: How did Americans get so mediocre? Bryant responded, “Want me to tell the truth? Both parents started working.”
The back-pedaling was immediate. He started with a “Ha, ha I’m in trouble” (possibly referring to his wife who worked outside of the home for 38 years) and went on to say, “A mom in the workplace is not a bad thing … it’s a great American story that women are in the workplace.”
Bryant’s truth, or as Stephen Colbert would say, truthiness, is based on nothing.
It’s amazing according to billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, that there are any working mothers at all, given the fierce—but still undocumented—connection between our nipples and our ability to use our lady brains outside of the nursery.
In a speech at his alma matar UVA, he said, “As soon as that baby’s lips touched that girl’s bosom, forget it. Every single investment idea, every desire to understand what’s going to make this [the market] go up or go down is going to be overwhelmed by the most beautiful experience which a man will never share about a connection between that mother and that baby.”
Girls? Really? The statements speak for themselves—and yet these guys didn’t just shut up after making their stupid comments. Sadly, both “the great American story” and “the women are superior to men because they can have babies” arguments pretend to respect women by putting them on pedestals made of bullshit.
Bryant is really saying: When we needed you to fill in for the men overseas, you were there—and we thank you. But as you can see, even Rosie the Riveter has picked up a Swiffer and gotten back to the serious business of cleaning her kitchen.
And Jones? His statement is clear: Boobs trump brains.
However, the fact is that today, 40 percent of American moms are now primary breadwinners in their families.
I wonder (though I can guess) how Bryant feels about a new Australian study of child health in same-sex families. This is the world’s largest attempt to study how children raised by same-sex couples compare to children raised by heterosexual couples. Researchers studied 500 children and found that they are not only thriving, but have higher rates of family cohesion (how well a family gets along) than heterosexually led families.
Wait… but some of these kids have TWO working moms! Maybe it’s that one doesn’t breastfeed? How else could Paul Tudor Jones explain this? And what of the gay men?
Shockingly, it’s Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly who kills it in the debate about women at work. She even defends gay parents when she takes on Redstate editor Erick Erickson and Fox host Lou Dobbs. Throughout this amazing interview—and including a moment of true disgust after being called, “oh dominant one” by Dobbs—she undoes their “evidence” and leaves these guys looking as throwbacky and out of touch as they truly are.
My favorite moment might have been when Kelly says to Erickson, “Just because you have people that agree with you doesn’t mean it’s not offensive… I didn’t like what you wrote one bit… Your facts are wrong and your science is wrong.”
In an attempt to undermine her confidence to paint her as an angry feminist, Erickson chuckles and says, “Be careful, Lou!” Yes Lou, she might have PMS! She continues to dominate, if I dare use the word, and control the conversation.
Kelly does pause to point out that she’s not a feminist—and such comments might explain why these same old battles repeat generation after generation. If women keep falling for smarmy divide and conquer tactics, we cannot advance our common goals of choosing how we lead our lives and make choices for our families.
Strong women like Kelly should stop feeling they need to state that they aren’t feminists when debating men who are obvious chauvinists. The battle that’s going on about women in the workplace isn’t about male and female roles in society, no matter how hard the Lou Dobbs of the world try to make it seem that way. It is simply a battle about equality. While Kelly may not embrace the feminist label, she sure embraces equality and I’ll take her on my team.
Image: Fox News